Reasons for anxiety

Anxiety is a very common mental condition. But besides the surroundings that affect us, there are certain foods and drinks that can cause it. Many people do not realize this connection. What are the reasons for anxiety with foods or drinks?

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Reasons for anxiety with foods and drinks

People get anxious over many conditions. Life has become stressful and there are many conditions that lead us to worry and get overtly anxious about it. We try to cope with it and if we are unable to overcome it, we do seek psychological support for it.

But one thing many people do not realize is that there is a connection also between the foods and drinks you consume and your potential to get anxious. There are many different reasons for anxiety with foods.

Reasons for anxiety
Caffeine are foods and drinks (Source: News Medical)

Firstly, certain substances in the foods induce anxiety in all or some people. Usually, the tolerance level varies amongst people. And anxiety is precipitated when one takes excessive amounts of the anxiety-causing foods or drinks. Dr. Uma Naidoo, a nutritional psychiatrist in Boston says:

“It’s almost a feeling of internal panic when they eat certain foods, but sometimes they don’t realize it’s related to the food they’ve consumed,”

Blood sugar and anxiety

Some people also feel anxious after having sweetened foods or fluids. This happens because their blood sugars spike following the intake of the food or drink. And this makes them anxious.

Maggie Michalczyk, dietitian from greater Chicago area adds:

“When you eat something that’s high in sugar, it causes your blood sugar to spike and then drop faster than it would if you had something that was more balanced with protein, carbs and fat,”

“This spike and drop can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and feel almost like a panic attack for some.”

Reasons for anxiety
High blood sugar can cause anxiety (Source: Life line screening)

Inflammation and anxiety

Moreover, certain foods induce body inflammation and this manifests also as anxiety. Many of the comfort foods that people consume during anxious state can also aggravate anxiety. These include highly processed foods such as cakes, bread, processed meats, ready meals, and cheese. These cause body inflammation and anxiety. Dr. Daniel Devine, certified internist and geriatrician from Philadelphia and co-founder of Devine Concierge Medicine says:

“These foods are low in fiber and are thought to disturb the normal gut microbiome.”

Any food that is high in sugars and fats cause inflammation in the body. This could lead to chronic diseases in the long run. But the inflammation components reach the central nervous system and affect our mood and anxiety levels.

Reasons for anxiety
Inflammatory foods and anxiety (Source: Health line)

Thus, getting excited or anxious after foods or meals could be due to:

1. Substances in the foods such as caffeine.

2. High blood sugar spikes. Sweet foods especially in people with diabetes, prediabetes or in even some normal people cause mood elevation, excitation and anxiety and panic attacks.

Click the link ahead to read more on: The happy diet: which foods elevate mood?

3. Body inflammation. Due to body inflammation, central nervous system excitation results and hence anxiety occurs.